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ARCHITECT EXHIBIT
Personal Research — Spring 2021
Wang Shu (born November 4, 1963) is an architect working in Hangzhou and the dean of the School of Architecture and Art of the China Academy of Art. He is well-known in academia for his critical oppo-sition to "so-called professional modern architecture lacking soul." In recognition of his archi-tectural contributions to maintaining respect for regional traditions, environments, and handicrafts, he won the 2012 Pritzker Prize, becoming the first Chinese to receive this honor and the fourth-youngest winner of the award. The jury commented that "his architecture is timeless, deeply rooted in the historical background and environment, but also cosmopolitan."

In 2006, Wang Shu designed a small building dominated by ceramics and bricks in Jinhua, China. The original idea stems from Wang Shu's preference for Chinese poetry. He believes that Chinese architecture should be integrated with the culture, which he argues should be seen not only on the surface but also through the soul and emotion of the architecture. He collected tens of thousands of ceramics abandoned in old buildings, polished the ceramics to restore their beauty, and used them to build a unique Chinese-style wall.
Based on Wang Shu's past architecture, he is not merely creating architecture but rather creating an atmosphere. He heavily focuses on how to integrate architecture into the local nature and environment, and he excels at doing so. In his opinion, the towering and modern buildings lack soul, and every building should appropriately become a part of the environment. With respect to the use of materials, Wang Shu also has his own unique understanding. Ceramics, bricks, and stones — materials that have long been abandoned by modern architecture — are the very reasons he can so effectively promote Chinese architecture to the world. Reusing, mixing, and matching these materials is what ultimately allows Chinese modern architecture to represent the traditional Chinese culture.